Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Friday, July 13, 2012

This week in the garden - #22

There's only one word to describe this week in the garden - WET! My garden had not seen this much rain in such a short period of time since Hurricane Ike in 2008. Of course, in 2010-2011, we were mired in a terrible drought. For most of  last year, we didn't get much more rain than we got this week, so this has been quite a turnaround in our fortunes, one which I'm sure our long-suffering trees have relished.

I went out and slogged through my garden this afternoon to see what was what. I have to admit it was a depressing sight. Things had been pretty beat up by the rain and there was still water standing in the lower spots of the yard. By the time my lawn service is able to get back here to mow the grass, I fully expect that it's going to be "as high as an elephant's eye."

There were lots of butterflies out nectaring this afternoon. I wonder what they do when it is raining as heavily as it has this week? Obviously, such fragile wings would not be able to navigate in heavy weather such as we've had, so I assume they must hole up somewhere under cover and wait for things to clear up.

I saw lots of tiny butterflies about, mostly various kinds of skippers, and there was a lovely Giant Swallowtail and a Palamedes Swallowtail flitting about. I ran to get my camera to try to get some pictures and, of course, by the time I got back outside, most of them had disappeared, but I did manage to get a few to pose for me.

     This Clouded Skipper was resting on a cucumber leaf.

A Gulf Fritillary was sipping from a stand of 'Mystic Spires' salvia, a favorite with many butterflies.

There were lots of sulphurs around the yard, but they are so "flighty" that I find it hard to get one to sit still long enough for a picture. I finally captured one sipping from a crocosmia blossom. I'm not sure which species of sulphur it was. I couldn't get a picture of its open wings which would have clinched the identification, but I thought it might be a Dog Face Sulphur.

I stopped by the pond to check on my goldfish and found that the water was clear all the way to the bottom of the pond. That's unusual. There's almost always a bit of algal buildup that obscures the view, but, evidently the rain had flushed all of that out. I could see all eight of the colorful fish as they swam around their watery home.

One species that has certainly gloried in this week's weather has been the frogs. Stepping into the backyard at night, one is overwhelmed by the sound of all those amphibian voices, rejoicing in the wetness.

I rejoice, too. Although, now, I wouldn't mind a few days of sunshine.

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